One of my favorite decorating details is the use of ‘millwork’, which is the use of wood interior finish elements such as door trim, baseboards, window casing and crown molding. Most spec builders just put in the basics- small baseboards, a window sill (versus casing on all 4 sides) and minimal crown molding, if any at all.
Custom builders, particularly in the Northeast (and coastal areas) use a lot of custom trim to differentiate their homes. The detail in this work is truly amazing. Here are just a few photos from some developers and designers who are committed to getting ‘the details’ right with the use of millwork:
Something I find interesting is the range of formality evoked by the application of the millwork. Treatments can range from very casual to quite formal. These first three pictures show the ‘shiplap’ look which I love. I’ve included a photo of my breakfast nook ‘before’ I added millwork and after I had the shiplap applied to the sheetrock.
Here is a photo of our breakfast room when we moved in complete with the builder supplied window sill and beige sheetrock (we did have good sized baseboards, though!).
Breakfast room after- can you believe the difference? The room just wouldn’t be the same without the millwork.
Photo by Ryann Ford Photography
As I mentioned above, there are a lot of degrees of formality involved in the use of millwork. I love these next two pictures for their elegance and sophistication.
If this level of formality doesn’t equate with your ‘everyday living’ the next picture employs the same millwork as the photo above (gray paint) but in a much more casual atmosphere.
This next picture is from one of my client’s homes. The home owner had an open stairwell which became very high at the top and was going to be a challenge to fill effectively with artwork.
A talented wood worker came in and installed this panel effect which fills the stair hall and adds architectural interest. What a difference!
When taking on a decorating project, millwork adds such character and personality. It is a significant investment (likely in the thousands of dollars, especially once you add the costs for the labor, materials and painter). Here is one more example from my home of our master bedroom before we invested in millwork (we were already moving everything out to have the work done when I snapped this photo) and then after:
Photo by Kimberly Davis Photography
You can see all the furniture and window treatment elements (the ‘decorating’) are the same. The only change is the millwork and paint. If you are planning on staying in your home for a significant period of time, I highly recommend you considering adding an element of millwork to your decorating improvements.
If you are interested in designing your rooms using millwork and need some help with the process, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on our design services.